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Louisiana Health Care Poll 

  Nearly 70 percent of Louisiana voters believe Gov. Bobby Jindal and lawmakers should make health care funding the top budget priority during the spring legislative session. They likewise don't want elected officials to cut funding for health care services to balance the budget. Those are among the findings of a recent poll conducted by Southern Media and Opinion Research for the Louisiana Hospital Association. "With the state facing a budget crisis this year, it is important that the Legislature have current research about what Louisiana residents think about health care budget cuts and funding priorities," says Bernie Pinsonat, president of Southern Media. Nearly 97 percent of respondents stated that hospitals and their employees are important to the local economy, and 85 percent said communities would suffer if the state cuts funding for hospitals. Additionally, 92 percent think hospitals provide well-paying jobs in the community, and a majority said health care funding cuts would lead to a loss of these jobs. "It is imperative that we find fiscally sound solutions to fund healt care for our most vulnerable residents so that the health care infrastructure in Louisiana does not crumble," says LHA President John Matessino. "Hospitals are not only tied to the health of our communities, but also to the health of our local and state economies." — Jeremy Alford 

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